Overseas transfers out

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1 Pensions Technical Factsheet April 2014 For financial advisers only Overseas transfers out This communication is for financial advisers only. It mustn t be distributed to, or relied on by, customers. Here we give information about transfers to overseas pension arrangements that take place on or after 6 April 2012.

2 Overview HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) guidance states that a transfer overseas will either be a recognised transfer or a non-recognised transfer. Recognised transfers are transfers to qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS). A transfer from a UK registered pension scheme to an overseas scheme which is not a QROPS is a non-recognised transfer. Such a transfer would be classed as an unauthorised member payment and would be taxed as an unauthorised payment. It is worth pointing out that AEGON scheme rules say that no one is entitled to an unauthorised payment so, in practice, it is unlikely that a non-recognised transfer would be made. The rest of this factsheet covers recognised transfers to a QROPS. Recognised transfers An overseas transfer will be a recognised transfer if it is made to a QROPS. A QROPS is a pension scheme established outside of the UK that is broadly similar to a registered pension scheme. The Government has stated that they expect transfers to QROPS to be made where an individual leaves or intends to leave the UK permanently. The intention is to allow an individual to take their pension savings with them to their new country of residence and for them to continue to save in their new country towards providing an income in their retirement. Definition of a QROPS For a scheme to be a QROPS, it must: n firstly be an overseas pension scheme (as defined) n secondly be a recognised overseas pension scheme (as defined) n meet some additional conditions Very broadly, overseas and recognised overseas pension schemes must be regulated and recognised for tax purposes in the country in which they are established. Full details of the requirements can be seen here. It s possible for a scheme to be an overseas pension scheme but not a recognised overseas pension scheme; such a scheme could not be a QROPS. A recognised overseas pension scheme will always meet the criteria to be an overseas pension scheme. Additional conditions to be a QROPS Apart from the need to meet the above requirements for an overseas pension scheme and a recognised overseas pension scheme, a QROPS must meet certain other requirements. Broadly, the scheme manager must: n notify HMRC that it is a recognised overseas pension scheme n confirm to HMRC the country or territory in which it is established n re-notify HMRC every five years that it meets the requirements to be a QROPS n undertake to tell HMRC if it stops being a recognised overseas pension scheme n provide any other evidence required by HMRC n undertake to give HMRC information on making certain payments in respect of specified scheme members 02

3 How does a scheme become a QROPS? Tax treatment of a recognised transfer 03 The scheme manager must submit form APSS251 to HMRC. The form gives HMRC information confirming that the scheme is a recognised overseas pension scheme. In return, HMRC will provide the scheme manager with a unique QROPS reference number. Any errors in the information provided to HMRC could result in QROPS status being withdrawn. Any transfers made to that scheme would not be recognised transfers, including those made before QROPS status was withdrawn, and tax charges could apply. Checking if a scheme is a QROPS The administrator of a transferring scheme can check that the receiving scheme is a QROPS by looking on the QROPS list published by HMRC at: Note HMRC aims to update this list twice a month, although it will only include schemes that have agreed to have their details published. HMRC will only answer queries about the QROPS status of an unlisted overseas scheme if it has written confirmation from the scheme manager to release that information to a named person. A transfer made from a UK registered pension scheme to a QROPS will be a recognised transfer and, as such, will be regarded as an authorised payment. Annual allowance The overseas transfer itself will not count towards an individual s annual allowance but any contributions or increase in benefits during the pension input period up to the date of transfer will. Lifetime allowance A transfer to a QROPS is a benefit crystallisation event and the transfer payment will be tested against the lifetime allowance at the point of transfer. A 25% lifetime allowance charge will apply to any excess funds above the lifetime allowance. The subsequent taking of benefits from the overseas arrangement is not a benefit crystallisation event. If an individual has enhanced or fixed protection, then a transfer to a QROPS will be a permitted transfer and will not result in the loss of enhanced or fixed protection. Whether or not a transfer to a QROPS can be made will also depend on the receiving scheme being able to accept a transfer under the legislation of the country in which it is established. For example, HMRC understand that transfers to US qualified retirement plans, including individual retirement arrangements (IRAs), cannot be made as such plans are not permitted to accept a transfer of funds from a UK registered pension scheme. In such cases, it may be wise for an individual to check with their US scheme if they can accept a transfer from the UK and whether they have checked with the US Internal Revenue Service that they can do so. The individual should also take advice in the US regarding any taxation implications that the transfer may bring.

4 Main requirements for making a QROPS transfer For an individual wanting to transfer: a) The individual will need to complete any forms and provide any information that is required by the two schemes involved with the transfer. This includes information to allow a lifetime allowance check to be made in respect of the transfer. b) The individual will also need to give the transferring scheme administrator a signed document providing the following: n Their name, date of birth, National Insurance number, telephone number, their current or last principal residential address in the UK, the name and address of the QROPS and the country or territory in which it is established and regulated, and, if they are no longer UK resident, the date they ceased to be UK resident. n Confirmation that they are aware that if the transfer is not a recognised transfer to a QROPS, then it could be classed as an unauthorised payment and incur a tax charge. n Confirmation that they are aware that in some circumstances a future payment made by a QROPS could be classed as an unauthorised payment and incur a tax charge. For b), HMRC have provided an APSS263 form although the transferring scheme administrator can produce their own version if they want to do so. The scheme administrator should send an APSS263 form (or their own alternative) to an individual within 30 days from the date the individual requests a transfer. The individual has 60 days from the date they request a transfer to return the form. For a UK registered pension scheme: a) On receipt of a request to make a transfer overseas, the transferring scheme administrator must satisfy themselves that the transfer is being made to a QROPS. b) The transferring scheme administrator must carry out a lifetime allowance check at the time of transfer. c) The transferring scheme administrator must report the transfer to HMRC using form APSS262 within 60 days of the transfer being made. For a receiving QROPS: The scheme manager of the receiving QROPS must notify HMRC when they make a payment from a fund that was transferred from a UK registered pension scheme. A payment would include a lump sum, a transfer or the first instalment of pension or income. Form APSS253 is available for this purpose and should generally be sent to HMRC within 90 days of the payment being made. However, there is no requirement to report details of a payment to HMRC if: a) The individual is not UK resident when the payment is made or was not UK resident earlier in the tax year in which the payment was made or in any of the previous five tax years, and b) The payment is made 10 years or more after the date of transfer to the QROPS. Effectively, any payment reported by a QROPS that would not have been authorised under UK rules could be treated as an unauthorised payment. 04

5 Contracted-out benefits Overseas transfers that include contracted-out funds classed as guaranteed minimum pension (GMP) benefits or section 9(2B) rights will be subject to the same HMRC requirements as transfers of non-contracted-out funds. They will also be subject to any Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) requirements and the receiving overseas scheme must also be able to hold such funds. The DWP requirements are: n The transfer is being made to either an overseas scheme or an overseas arrangement. n If the transfer is to an occupational scheme, the trustees/provider of the UK arrangement must satisfy themselves that the individual is in employment applicable to that scheme. n The trustees/provider of the UK arrangement have satisfied themselves that the individual has received a statement of benefits from the receiving scheme or arrangement detailing the benefits available in respect of the transfer payment and any conditions which could lead to them forfeiting the benefits. n The individual must give the trustees/provider of the UK arrangement written agreement to the transfer and written acknowledgement that the transfer payment may not be regulated in any way by UK law and as a consequence the receiving scheme may not be obliged to provide any particular value or benefit from it. n The transfer value must be at least equivalent in value to the GMP or section 9(2B) rights as appropriate. Transfers of benefits in payment Transfer to a QROPS of a pension in payment or of a drawdown pension fund can be a recognised transfer. So, a transfer could be made overseas providing certain conditions are met. For example: n Transfers of annuity funds are only permitted if they are transferred to an EU insurer. n Transfers of drawdown pension funds need to stay within the UK authorised payment rules regarding income limits and review periods. n The receiving scheme is required to provide benefits on a like for like basis. For example, the transfer of a scheme pension in payment should be continued in that form. 05 The UK trustees/provider must advise the Services to Pensions Industry of any transfer of GMP or section 9(2B) rights using the relevant form. This is a CA1890 form for GMP or S9(2B) rights

6 QROPS online service 06 In 2013, HMRC introduced a service which will allow UK scheme administrators and overseas scheme managers to meet their reporting requirements online. The online service provides a quicker and more secure way of reporting information. Using the online system is optional; paper forms can still be submitted. Further information Further information on overseas transfers can be found within the HMRC guidance at: When transferring pension arrangements between different countries, the transferee should consider taking financial advice in both countries in case there are unforeseen tax consequences outside the relevant pensions regimes. This information is based on our understanding of current legislation, taxation law and practice, which may change. This factsheet has been produced by Pensions Technical Services. We re proud to be the Lead Partner of British Aegon is a brand name of Scottish Equitable plc (No. SC144517) and Aegon Investment Solutions Ltd (No. SC394519) registered in Scotland, registered office: Edinburgh Park, Edinburgh, EH12 9SE. Both are Aegon companies. Scottish Equitable plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Aegon Investment Solutions Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Their Financial Services Register numbers are and respectively Aegon UK plc C TS /14

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